Tuesday, July 19, 2016
The Evening Series : Volume Two
Evening Series: Volume 2
One night I was in the desert, on my way to Las Vegas, when all of a sudden my car died. I didn’t want to get out of my car, because I felt that it would be like walking on Mars without a spacesuit. The car’s battery was dead, or it was playing dead - either way, I sat in my car and pretend this wasn’t happening. My headlights were out of course, so the only reflection of light that came, was a passing car speeding across the two lane highway. There was no way I could flag a car down, because I didn’t exist, due to the speed of the passing car. When I finally got out of the car from the passenger side, I saw nothing but blackness on blackness. Blackness itself was endless and after a while I started to see shapes or something of a 3D effect. I really couldn’t see the hand in front of my face.
When my car died I think it was around 11:00 PM. But I’m not sure, because when I drive on a straight highway I lose all sense of time, due to the road itself as well as the blackness that is out there. One thing I noticed when I stepped out of the car was the sound of tumbleweeds tumbling across the landscape. I didn’t feel there was anything alive out there, yet, I felt logically there must be something breathing on the blank vista in front of me. The air was non-existent. I could breathe easily, but I felt there was no wind or even a breeze. Yet over time, I could feel that there was movement in front of me, when I faced away from the highway.
There were very few cars going by. Due to keep my mind on something I counted up to six cars, but got bored, because there was a lot of time (or that seems to be the case) between cars. I tried to think of a melody, but oddly enough nothing came to mind. I became hyper-aware of the sounds of the desert. Everything was low-volume, but now I noticed that there were consistent sounds.
When I looked up in the sky, there was nothing but stars, and then more stars. There were no clouds and since I was only wearing a white American Apparel t-shirt, Levi 501’s and black tennis shoes, the temperature was quite comfortable. I started to think if I die right now, it will be OK. But I was worried to see the sunrise, because I felt I was trapped here, and I may die under the exposure of the sun. All of sudden, I had thoughts of Dr. John McTeague and his one-time best friend, Marcus Schouler, from the film “Greed, ” fighting to the death under the hot sun and in the desert. I have only read about "Greed," and seen its film stills, but if you asked me at a party if I have seen it, I for sure would tell you I not only seen it, but saw the original five and a half hour version.
As I stood there, leaning on my car, it was the first time I really thought about dying. I had Arrowhead water in a plastic bottle, so I felt I could make it last throughout the night, still, I had a hunch my life would either be totally changed or by morning I’ll be dead.
I started to imagine vultures eating my meat, and I wondered if they peck you while you’re still alive or you have to be dead. I have read that a vulture can’t really eat a healthy animal or human. They usually wait till another animal or larger scavenger attacks the body. After they are finished with the meal, then they go in and take what they need. Also, it seems that they projectile vomit, not as a weapon against another beast, but to unload their stomach so they can fly off easier.
I don’t know how long I stood there and just thought about this. All I know is I looked into the darkness hoping to see myself, or a reflection. But the landscape does not acknowledge you. The viewer is really in the mercy of the landscape. I was thinking of going back inside my car to find a pencil and piece of paper and perhaps write my final words, but all of sudden, I just didn’t care anymore. I finally accepted that I exist in darkness, and therefore I wanted the night to swallow me before the daylight. I have nothing more to say.
-Tosh Berman (8:30 PM - 9:30 PM)